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Polybius

Polybius (pōlĬ´bēəs), 203? BC–c.120 BC, Greek historian, b. Megalopolis. As one of the leaders of the Achaean League and a friend of Philopoemen, he was influential in Greek politics. Having advocated the neutral stand of the League in the war between Rome and Macedon, he was deported (167 BC) with a large number of Achaeans to Rome after the Roman victory over Macedon. He obtained the protection of Aemilius Paullus and of the Scipio family, and under their patronage he undertook several voyages, notably one to Achaea, where he sought to win favor for the Roman government. It was also under the Scipios' patronage that Polybius undertook his universal history, one of the great historical works of all time (see tr. by W. R. Paton in the Loeb Classical Library, 6 vol., 1954). Of the 40 books only the first five survive intact; of the rest there are generous fragments. It was Polybius' chief aim to trace for his contemporaries the causes of the sudden rise of Rome; his history covered the Mediterranean world from before 220 BC to 146 BC A historian of the school of Thucydides, Polybius spared no efforts in his research for detail, accuracy, and unbiased truth, but as a great admirer of Rome, he could not, however, avoid a measure of partiality. His presentation is nevertheless soberly analytical and devoid of rhetoric. Not content with setting forth the facts, Polybius stopped his narrative to insert general discussions on the purpose of history writing (which he considered, like Thucydides, a guide to political conduct), on the principles of the Roman state, and on other broad subjects.

See studies by K. Von Fritz (1954) and F. W. Walbank (1973); F. W. Walbank, A Historical Commentary on Polybius (Vol. I, 1957; Vol. II, 1967; Vol. III, 1974).

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Polybius

Polybius (c.200–c.120 bc) Greek historian. A leader in the Achaean Confederation, Polybius was deported as an honoured hostage to Rome in 168 bc. He became a friend of Scipio Africanus Minor, and accompanied him to Spain and Africa. He was present at the destruction of Carthage in 146 bc, and later acted as intermediary between Rome and the Achaeans.

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Polybius

Polybius (c.200–c.118 bc), Greek historian. After an early political career in Greece he was deported to Rome. His forty books of Histories (only partially extant) chronicled the rise of the Roman Empire from 220 to 146 bc.

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Polybius

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